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The need for Jackson to resort to such an absurd hypothetical demonstrates why the correct outcome should be a win for Missouri.

She might well have said "what if there is a viral craze of teens challenging each other to eat laundry detergent pods!?!!!"

But of course, that one really happened, the uptake was predictably limited by common sense and the counter programming handled without a constitutional dispute over government suppression of the first amendment.

This current dispute is about the regime's willingness to abuse its power and the regime needs a severe smacking around.

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"This current dispute is about the regime's willingness to abuse its power and the regime needs a severe smacking around."

The Supreme Court doesn't issue orders for beatings. Presumably you want them to rule in favor of Missouri. What consequence--since beatings are out--do you want the ruling to have? No more contact of anyone in the Executive Branch with any social media company?

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Thinking about this further, Roger's take above and many comments below.

This case is NOT about whether the government is allowed to combat false information as per the nonsensical examples from Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson. Of course they are allowed to fight misinformation, false information, foreign influence, etc etc.

The issue is "how" they are doing it.

What we have seen again and again is narrative control not defending facts and fighting misinformation. Instead in a lot of cases this is about "mal-information" which are true facts they don't happen to like, such as the covid shots don't stop transmission and closing schools is bad and there is no current climate emergency (which is leading to the largest misallocation of capital in human history, is that a "small" problem guys? $$$Trillions in wasted spending?)

If they want to slap Roger Pielkie Jr down for posting that the IPCC WG1 data doesn't show a climate emergency, then they can come with facts and convince people he is wrong.

But of course they don't have facts that show there is a climate emergency so instead they will work behind the scenes to blackball him instead.

As they have in the past

Basically a star chamber, no debate, no right of appeal because of course Roger would not even know he is being shadow banned or throttled and that no one is even seeing his arguments. They have essentially locked him in a prison.

Surely all can see this?

I'm disappointed in so many people these days.

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"But of course they don't have facts that show there is a climate emergency so instead they will work behind the scenes to blackball him instead."

How can they "blackball" Roger?

Roger has a Substack site, he can say whatever he wants on this site. So what can the government do? They can go to Substack, but what pressure can they put on Substack that would cause Substack to turn down the money Roger is making for them?

And even if the government does somehow intimidate Substack, Roger can just come to guest post on my Typepad blog. Is the government going to intimidate Typepad into banning my blog?

And even if the government somehow intimidates Typepad into banning *my* blog, Roger can just go to "Watts Up With That." They *love* Roger! ;-) (Except when he starts anything with, "Don't get me wrong, climate change is a problem, but..." ;-))

No way the government is ever going to intimidate "Watts Up With That" to banning Roger. I'm not even sure they're a U.S. site (they may be hosted out of Australia).

And at every step in that chain, Substack, Typepad, "Watts Up With That"...government intimidation is not just illegal, it's probably even bad politics.

"Basically a star chamber, no debate, no right of appeal because of course Roger would not even know he is being shadow banned or throttled and that no one is even seeing his arguments. They have essentially locked him in a prison."

This argument is just silly. No, they haven't "essentially locked him in a prison." You should talk to someone who's been in prison, and ask them if being "shadow banned or throttled" on Twitter/X is essentially the same as being "locked in prison."

Roger has no right to have what he writes on Twitter/X broadly disseminated to the public. He isn't paying Twitter/X to be allowed to tweet/post there. Twitter/X has the complete freedom to "shadow ban or throttle" anyone. It's *their* site.

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Silly word games.

It’s not about whether Twitter, a private company, wants to let Roger post comments there.

It’s about the government behind the scenes directing Twitter to deplatform Roger, without his even knowing it’s happening.

If you can’t see the difference in those scenarios then I’m unable to assist you.

On the bright side, you may qualify as a Supreme Court judge.

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Mar 23·edited Mar 23

"If you can’t see the difference in those scenarios then I’m unable to assist you.

On the bright side, you may qualify as a Supreme Court judge."

Oh, good grief.

Have you ever worked as an employee of the U.S. federal government? Have you ever worked as a contractor for the U.S. federal government? Have you ever worked in a cooperative agreement with the U.S. federal government?

Are you even a U.S. citizen?

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I knew virtually nothing about this case before today. As Rod Serling (probably dating myself? ;-)) would say:

"Offered for your consideration"

https://www.justsecurity.org/93487/a-conspiracy-theory-goes-to-the-supreme-court-how-did-murthy-v-missouri-get-this-far/

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I would check out Matt Taibbi’s take over on Racket.

Government is invariably wrong, the entire purpose of your first amendment is to allow people to keep them honest.

Brown is a travesty of a SC judge.

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"I would check out Matt Taibbi’s take over on Racket."

Can you point me to a particular hyperlink?

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"Send me a link".

Ok

When it comes to this stuff there is a lot and its behind a paywall. Your choice whether you want the info or not.

https://public.substack.com/

https://www.racket.news/

Taibbi and Shellenberger have been publishing on this for a few years, you can start back at the beginning and follow the story releases as the info became clear.

And lets not get into silly word games.

The question at stake here is not whether the government is allowed to speak up and push back against what they consider disinformation.

That is not what this is about.

This story is about whether the government can force social media and media to remove content, in secret, in any number of ways. Shadow banning, limiting if people can be seen or heard.

If the government doesn't like something, if something is illegal, there are laws that allow them to act. That is not what we are talking about here.

The Hunter Biden laptop story is only one of the most blatant examples.

Narrative control.

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"The Hunter Biden laptop story is only one of the most blatant examples."

Let's look at the Hunter Biden laptop story. Who was the President of the United States when the Hunter Biden laptop story broke? Therefore, who was in charge of the Executive Branch of the United States when the Hunter Biden laptop story broke?

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Mark, what did i say about silly word games?

If you follow the information in the links you will see that these 3 letter orgs were actively conspiring against Trump, since 2017.

The FBI had the Hunter Biden laptop a year before the 2020 election, they knew it was real and they started working on how they would discredit it when it became public, because they knew it would become public as the repair shop guy had given a copy of it to others, i think Guiliani had it for example.

This is the very definition of the "swamp".

So they war gamed what they would do with the SIO and CISO and with major media orgs and the social media companies.

All of this is revealed at the links i provided.

And Tony Blinken arranged for "51 former intelligence agents" to release a statement, out of the blue, how this had "all the hallmarks of a russian operation".

For such service, you get to be secretary of state.

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"Mark, what did i say about silly word games?"

It's hardly a "silly word game" to consider who was the head of the Executive Branch when the Hunter Biden laptop story broke. (It was Donald Trump, of course.)

You say, "The FBI had the Hunter Biden laptop a year before the 2020 election, they knew it was real and they started working on how they would discredit it when it became public,..."

...but the FBI works for the Department of Justice, who is headed by the Attorney General, who is a member of Donald Trump's cabinet. So if the FBI "knew it was real" why did Donald Trump allow them to start "working on how they would discredit it when it became public"?

This website states:

https://judiciary.house.gov/media/press-releases/testimony-reveals-fbi-employees-who-warned-social-media-companies-about-hack

"After the New York Post broke a story based on the contents of the laptop about Biden family influence peddling, the FBI made the institutional decision to refuse to answer direct questions from social media companies about the laptop’s authenticity—despite months of constant information sharing up to that time."

So...the federal government refused to answer direct questions from social media companies about the laptop, and that's somehow an example of them coercing social media companies?

And why didn't the Attorney General find out from the FBI whether the laptop was real or not, and find out what the FBI was telling or not telling the social media companies? He's their boss.

"And Tony Blinken arranged for '51 former intelligence agents' to release a statement, out of the blue, how this had 'all the hallmarks of a russian operation'."

Why didn't anyone in the Trump administration speak up in response to that statement?

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Mar 21Liked by Roger Pielke Jr.

I really appreciate the depth of thinking, Roger. I finally upgraded to paid…I should have long ago. One thing I don’t understand…why don’t some people use their real names when posting comments? If one truly believes what one types, why not stand behind it? The rudest and most absurd comments come from people without real names. Wonder why?

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Because people can get destroyed for voicing the wrong opinion. The Woke/insane/climate mob is merciless and relentless.

I have many hundreds of connections on Linkedin and elsewhere, i always post under my own name, and in so many cases i get one to 10 people "liking" my comment or replying positively, but when i step out to do my job everyone i run into says they love my posts and agree completely, but they cannot publicly say so, only older, mostly retired people do so regularly because they cannot be hurt any longer.

I'm sure Roger can confirm exactly the same feedback.

Our society is broken, by exactly what we are discussing today, this USSC case is just a symptom of the problem.

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Also…if EVERYONE had to use their full name…including and especially the woke mob…I’ll bet that the ad hominem attacks would be much less frequent. Even the wokesters or crazy Trumpers don’t want to be attached to their vitriol…and those who do need to be exposed by their words.

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I think there are good reasons why people should be allowed to post anonymously, whistleblowers etc.

But yes, the nasty trolls with insults and attacks shouldn’t be allowed to hide.

Looking at the awful stuff Piltdown Mann posts on his public accounts, I wonder if he also has aliases under which he gets truly nasty?

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I am retired. That said, I think that “cancel culture” is very close to running its course, if it hasn’t already. The more we, the “moderate majority,” hide, the more we empower the mob on both extremes. We need to start exerting our power…the power of the REAL majority.

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I don’t know it’s almost over, it seems to me that western governments are doubling down?

Here in Canada, China agent Trudeau is proposing a law allowing life in prison for “advocating genocide”.

Currently our progressives would say i “advocate genocide” because i support Israel’s right to exist and eradicate Hamas.

They are also proposing 1 year house arrest without communication ability if they think you “might” use hate speech.

Pre-crime.

So you tell me, is it almost over?

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It definitely isn’t over in Canada…sorry about that. Election is coming soon. Good luck!

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I’m planning to vote as many times as I can!!

😀😀🙄

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"One thing I don’t understand…why don’t some people use their real names when posting comments? If one truly believes what one types, why not stand behind it?"

Now that I have no hope nor real interest in being employed again, I can relate this. I worked for over 25 years for RTI, International (formerly Research Triangle Institute). Most of the work was for the U.S. EPA, and much of it was related to climate change:

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/239924087_Use_of_Black_Carbon_and_Organic_Carbon_Inventories_for_Projections_and_Mitigation_Analysis

I've always commented under my own name, despite the fact that--to put it mildly--the U.S. EPA and probably virtually everyone at RTI doesn't share my opinions on climate change. (Which can be summarized as, "Not a big problem." ;-))

I commented under my own name partly as a matter of pride. I didn't want to hide behind a pseudonym. But another big reason I commented under my own name was that did *not* have a wife and children. So I have at least some sympathy for people who comment under pseudonyms on controversial topics. (But I have absolute zero sympathy or respect for people who comment under pseudonyms and hurl insults.)

P.S. As an aside to Roger, and other people deep in the thicket of climate change policy, do you recognize the name, Ben DeAngelo, co-author of the black carbon paper, who formerly worked at the U.S. EPA (and now is apparently at NOAA)?

Here's a hint:

https://www.epa.gov/sites/default/files/2016-08/documents/endangerment_tsd.pdf

;-)

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Thank you for the perspective, Mark. Now that you lay it out that way, I would agree that some people probably need to protect themselves when addressing controversial topics…almost like a “whistleblower.” My ire is towards those who hurl insults and engage in personal attacks, as you point out. Thank you also for being a dissenting voice and for being courageous enough to put your name on it.

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author

Thanks Bryan!

I definitely encourage everyone to post under their own name. Unless of course they are a head of state or the like 🤓👍

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Mar 21Liked by Roger Pielke Jr.

I didn’t think about that angle. Based on many of comments from some of them, I hope most of them aren’t in charge of anything of importance! LOL!

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Ha!

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Mar 21Liked by Roger Pielke Jr.

Should we really all act alike? I'm not so sure.

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By “act alike” Lippmann simply means we agree to live and govern together such that collective action — policy thru politics — is possible

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Mar 21Liked by Roger Pielke Jr.

Roger, I disagree with you on this one. There indeed is a huge "disinformation industrial complex" that has been formed of government agencies, and non-government agencies receiving government grants, to influence public opinion by censoring unapproved narratives. Call me cynical, but in my experience some politicians will push the envelope as far as they can to control these narratives, in there interest of their own greed and desire for power. In my opinion, this has nothing to do with right vs. left or Democrat vs. Republican.

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Disagreement is good!

So let’s agree that there is in fact a “disinformation industrial complex.”

How would a ruling in favor of Missouri affect this exactly?

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The point is preventing coercion.

You will be next, Piltdown Mann is coming for you.

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I recommend checking out the related posts on Public, Micheal Shellenberger's substack. His work there on exposing the censor-industrial complex is very worthwhile.

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And Taibbi on Racket.

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Mar 21Liked by Roger Pielke Jr.

Dear Roger, the diagram you start with is developed by several authors in the 1980s. See the book "Risk and Culture"by Mary Douglas and Aaron Wildavsky (1983). At page 4 they refer to 'Approaches to acceptable risk: a critical guide' by Fischhoff, Lichtenstein and Slovic where they state: "Values and uncertainties are an integral part of every acceptable-risk problem." Then, at page 5, Douglas and Wildavsky basically offer the same diagram you ascribe to Funtowics and Ravetz.

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author

Thanks! My late friend and mentor Steve Rayner was a student of Mary Douglas. The roots of PNS certainly run deep.

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Of course the government can reasonably say what they hope people believe or do, but they should not be allowed to apply pressure to specifics companies. This distinction is clear to me and I'm surprised it was not considered.

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It is the entire point. For someone who has had his career disrupted and been the focus of being shut down I find Roger strangely serene about this.

I guarantee he is on a list to be silenced.

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It appears I'm late to this party. Nevertheless, I wish to try to introduce some clarity into the situation. As an example, let's say I have a sign on my property that takes a certain position which the local government deems is not conducive to advancing the majority opinion. Let's also say I have separately metered power that illuminates only the sign. Because the position does not advance the governing agenda, the city demands the utility limit power to the sign to between the hours 3am and 4am because the sign is a "distraction to traffic". I hold that this is what has occurred. Internet service providers are utilities. They are the power to the signs we place in our yards and, as such have very limited rights to what posts they deny. They are either publishers or they are utilities. They cannot be both. Let's take the question of kids jumping from buildings, does the government have an interest in limiting the spread if this information? If it's actions are legitimate for an isp, they're legitimate for a newscast, newspaper or... a sign in my yard. Indeed, it could be argued they are legitimate for a conference call or any other venue where there is no expectation if privacy.

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It is worth looking at what was actually censored - see this recent substack: https://networkaffects.substack.com/p/stanfords-virality-project-pushed

"The Virality Project primarily focused on so-called “anti-vaccine” “misinformation”, however, my Twitter Files investigations with Matt Taibbi revealed this included “true stories of vaccine side effects.”

A further review of the content flagged by the Virality Project demonstrates how they pushed social media platforms to censor such “true stories”. This was often done incompetently and without even a cursory investigation of the original sources. In one instance, the Virality Project reporters told platforms that reports of a child injured in a vaccine trial were “false” due to the timing; citing the dates of a Moderna trial when in fact the child had been in a Pfizer trial.

Trigger-happy researchers-turned-activists at the Virality Project went further, alerting their BigTech partners (including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok) of protests, jokes, and general dissent."

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I agree the plaintiff's lawyer's answer to the hypothetical left a lot to be desired. He would have been better off explaining in the context of the simplicity of the hypothetical vs what actually happened in the case. In some ways, what they did was turn standing science on its head and reverse well known science - like that masks don't work for respiratory infections - and then the govt suppressed the voices stating the established science. Like if they suddenly let a bunch of people say you could jump from higher and higher heights because Covid changed everything.

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"In some ways, what they did was turn standing science on its head and reverse well known science - like that masks don't work for respiratory infections -..."

What is the theory behind "masks don't work for respiratory infections"?

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In the US there is a strong presumption that free speech is a good thing. It is the first amendment for that reason. The Missouri case may not be perfect but it is the result of what seems to be clear abuse of power by the federal authorities.

Having the government pressure anyone to remove content is bad. It is even worse if the government does this secretly instead of openly. Even the jumping out of windows one. Even (and this is my $dayjob) taking down scammers, phishers and other criminal websites etc.

I am in fact particularly irritated at the way CISA's original intent - information sharing about cyber attacks/crimes - mutated into information sharing about "misinformation" and the like. The US (the world) needs a trusted neutral party that can disseminate information about active criminal activity so that this can be neutralized because the problem with the Internet is that people in Nigeria or China can quickly and easily put up websites in, say, Moldova and send emails/SMSes to pensioners in Peoria convincing them that they need to go to the Moldovan website and give up critical information/transfer money etc. Standard law enforcement actions (arrests etc.) are unable to cope with the speed of the Internet and the multiple legal jurisdictions involved. CISA should have been the place where anyone in the cybersecurity space could a) report new threats they have observed and b) get information about new threats others have observed that they can use to stop attacks. By commingling actual criminal activity with "misinformation" CISA has broken trust and once you lose trust you really can't get it back.

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Mar 21·edited Mar 21Liked by Roger Pielke Jr.

"In the US there is a strong presumption that free speech is a good thing. It is the first amendment for that reason. "

Yes, but in the U.S., there is a strong presumption that The People owning guns is a good thing. That's why its the second amendment. So not all presumptions the writers of the Constitution had were correct.

:-)

Or ;-).

Or :-(

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Nothing wrong with the second amendment, it’s part of the reason the first might survive

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"Nothing wrong with the second amendment, it’s part of the reason the first might survive"

There are plenty of things wrong with the Second Amendment:

"A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State,..."

This may have been true at the time it was written, but it's certainly not true now. In 2024, plenty of secure nations have military forces, but no "well-regulated militias". Further, "well-regulated militias" don't stand a chance against a modern military.

"...the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

In the U.S., most people entirely separate this second part of the sentence from the first part. So we have insane people murdering people with handguns and light weapons *every single day*:

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12973809/Apex-harry-hardman-army-captain-hoa-cleansing-final-solution.html

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Nothing is perfect.

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As with all the Amendments the devil is in the details

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The hypothetical about underage children encouraged to commit suicide is poor for two reasons. There are already laws about not inciting violence, and framing this as a game should not distract. And as others have pointed out, a parallel non-lethal but still irreversible harm, raised no flags for the watchdogs, who in stead went after those raising objections with concerning efficacy. It is the lack of transparency in the government and NGO pressures that concerns me, because it is then so much easier and convenient to just yield to it, even if the threat of actual government sanctions may seem theoretical or remote at the time. If this is not a test case for that, what will be?

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Jackson's hypothetical was not very clever and I am surprised the plaintiff's lawyer didn't have an adequate response. There would be nothing wrong with the government openly and publicly warning of the dangers of teens jumping out windows nor with them openly and publicly asking social media organizations to help. (It's a ridiculous premise BTW but what the hell).

The hypothetical doesn't address what happened here. The government set up a secret system asking for posts deemed objectionable to be removed. Elon Musk revealed there was a portal between twitter and the FBI that automatically deleted all posts after 2 weeks. Does anyone think this should be legal?

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"Jackson's hypothetical was not very clever and I am surprised the plaintiff's lawyer didn't have an adequate response."

The whole process is ridiculous. It's absolutely insane to have a situation wherein the judges spring hypotheticals on unsuspecting lawyers for each side, such that those lawyers have to come up with off-the-cuff responses. If we were truly interested in getting reasoned judgments, the judges would submit their questions and the lawyers would be given hours or days to respond to them.

"There would be nothing wrong with the government openly and publicly warning of the dangers of teens jumping out windows nor with them openly and publicly asking social media organizations to help."

Indeed. In fact, "60 Minutes" had a story that discussed children (early teens and pre-teens) being sucked into groups that glorify eating disorders. Those groups were theoretically limited to adults. It seems to me that simply subjecting such situations to publicity should go a long way to encouraging private companies to fix the problem:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nw5htuo22g

"The hypothetical doesn't address what happened here. The government set up a secret system asking for posts deemed objectionable to be removed. Elon Musk revealed there was a portal between twitter and the FBI that automatically deleted all posts after 2 weeks. Does anyone think this should be legal?"

Do you know whether this particular instance come up in the Supreme Court oral arguments?

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Mar 21Liked by Roger Pielke Jr.

I don't know. My guess is no.

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Mar 21·edited Mar 21

"I don't know. My guess is no."

Well, someone goofed, big-time. ;-)

"The government set up a secret system asking for posts deemed objectionable to be removed. Elon Musk revealed there was a portal between twitter and the FBI that automatically deleted all posts after 2 weeks."

The questions I would have there are:

1) Is that truly what happened (i.e. is Elon Musk actually telling the truth)? (No offense to Elon Musk, but I think it's reasonable to question the facts of something that occurred at Twitter (or "X" ;-)) before Elon Musk took charge.)

2) Did Twitter agree to such a system because they agreed that it was perfectly appropriate to automatically delete all posts after two weeks?, or

3) Was Twitter coerced into the system via some sort of threat?

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Twitter and other social media companies were coerced by threats to revoke their status

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Indeed, you hit the nail on the head!

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Exactly. Clearly stated.

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Mar 20Liked by Roger Pielke Jr.

And sometimes experts are either knowingly or unknowingly wrong, too!

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author

Amen!

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